Can I get a CDL if my DUIís were in a state that disqualifies you from obtaining one?
I live in NC and have a NC driverís license. In 2004 I got 2 DUIís that year out of stupidity. Over the past month Iíve been studying for my CDL permit and preparing for school and today I pulled my MVR from NC and Ga (where I previously held a license). My NC was perfect and my GA has no points as well, however it says Iím disqualified from a CDL. Now I spoke with the NC DMV awhile back and asked them if I had 2 DUIís in a 10 period would it keep me from obtaining a CDL? There answer was no due to the fact I didnít hold a CDL when I got the DUIís. Also from what Iíve read, due to the fact that the DUIís occurred before the MCSIA Laws took effect in September 2005, I would not be disqualified under that act. Georgia is saying that it is GA law that disqualifies me for life and they are hoping to put a bill into effect in 2014 that would change that law and allow you to obtain a CDL after 10 years instead of lifetime providing you show proof of a rehabilitation program.
I make no excuses for my mistakes back then. Iíve been in the bar business for 20 years and am wanting very badly to walk away and make a career change and truck driving has been my passion.
My question is first, is what Iíve read correct that I will not fall under the federal regulations? Second, since NC is stating that I should have no problem obtaining a CDL will the fact that GA law disqualifies me keep me from obtaining a CDL in NC?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Your question is kinda moot since you have already invested time studying and are in school. Logically speaking, at this point you may as well follow through and let the cards fall where they may. Presumably any decent school not out to rip people off should have pre-screened you to insure you are eligible to be licensed before taking your money. The MCSIA is a United States Code law (which was enacted in 1999 by the way). USC laws are second only to the Constitution of United States so NC DMV regulations will most likely be in compliance with MCSIA. However, NC DMV licenses people to drive in NC and no other state dictates to NC DMV who is licensed. They make take other states info into consideration but ultimately NC DMV will make the decision. That having been said, the same is true of GA DMV and even if you get a valid NC CDL it may not be recognized in GA and/or other states if the NC CDL violates MCSIA. However, getting the CDL is not your primary concern. Even if you do get a NC CDL, you may have extreme difficulty getting a job - you should have been informed of this possibility during pre-screening for admission to school. If they did not inform you or per-screen you, I would question their ethics. Most companies won't hire you if you have ever had even a minor ticket let alone 2 DWI's no matter how long ago they were. This is mostly due to insurance company requirements and the fact that they are trusting you to safely haul potentially dangerous and / or millions of dollars in cargo. If you do end up having trouble securing a job you may want to consider getting a rig and going free lance. Best of luck to you!